If this is the first day, if this is the last
it will be enough to have lived it
giving thanks for the red of the swamp
maple, the yellow of dandelion––
for lilac on the edge of the field
and red-winged blackbird’s pale blue
eggs spotted and scrawled with brown
and purple, hidden in a cup of marsh
grass, visible to One who watches over
and calls forth the life that stirs
in that reedy grass.
I dug the well an inch at a time
through matted grass, soil and gravel
clay and soft rock, down and down
’til at nine feet the water flowed.
The vein was slow when it first bled
but now the channel cleared of dross
pumps pure from the heart of earth
and cannot be turned off.
Hover and dive, O winged One.
Come in a burst of feather.
Your prey awaits your rending beak:
Come and leave nothing but the bones
of a poem. Amen.
…for the life and work of Seamus Heaney
for the Muse who drew him through himself
then out of himself to translate the world
to us in tongues not easy to understand
but in allowing the power of language
to hold us, meaning flows, and in reverie
we know who he is: Bard in the wilder-
ness who did not abandon his native land
of human touch. He left a path of words
to follow, crumbs he had dropped
on his way out to the poems.
Lift up your hands, your empty hands
and pray for the starving,
Your heart emptied of prayer, now
pick up the pen in your empty hand
and write a check to address hunger’s pain.
In dream I heard the tolling
of a distant bell, heavy and rich
yet hollow and dull
it tolled eleven o’clock.
I looked through the window to see
a rush of snow before great wind
and there in the sky at the same time
moon and sun without contradiction.
Unclear whether it was night or day
What’s going on? was all I could say.
Words from Revelation came:
See, I make all things new.
Write these matters down
for the words are trustworthy and true.